Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 7:19,22 – Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?" And [Jesus] answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them." (NASB)
I feel sorry for John the Baptist at this time in his life. He was an outdoors man who spent most of his life in the wilderness, in bright, open spaces, with no boundaries. When Herod arrested him, the cruel king didn't have to torture the prophet: keeping him confined in a dark dungeon was enough to diminish John's spirit.
At some point during his imprisonment, John began to doubt who Jesus really was. He was at a breaking point in his life and must have questioned everything that he knew or believed. It was a dark night for his anguished soul, and it must have caused him a great deal of emotional, spiritual, and psychological distress.
When John's disciples asked Jesus to answer the prophet's agonizing question, Christ vanquished John's doubts. All of the signs are evident that Jesus is the chosen Messiah. John need not fear that he had made a mistake in calling Jesus the "Lamb of God". When the answer came back to the Baptist, it must have reassured him. Even though he was trapped and would never see the light of day again, John knew in his heart that the Christ had at last come to save God's people.
We all go through times of doubt and despair. We all have moments when we wonder whether our beliefs are true or our faith is misguided. However, during those spiritual conflicts and serious doubts, Jesus speaks quietly to our souls and reassures us that He is with us, even to the end of our days.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us completely and are totally aware of our circumstances. Sometimes, we doubt Your power; sometimes, we question Your existence. Help us, during those low spiritual moments, to wait upon Your presence and to listen to Your quiet voice of assurance. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.